ASB Elections: Meet the New Officers

by Madison Marko – Photographer

The votes are in, campaigning is complete, and our 2018-2019 ASB and class representatives have been chosen. Cassie Padilla (11) will lead the charge as ASB President. 

From cancelled dances, to food trucks put out-of-commission, to 43 percent of ASB and class election positions running unfilled, there is no denying that we have a participation problem. Next years’ officers are not blind to the issue, and know they have their work cut out for them. Padilla said, “School spirit will be a big focus for me. Aside from that, I think school is ‘getting through the day’ for people. I want students to be friendlier to one another. I do not want people to go through their four years and not remember anything.” 

Future Junior Class Treasurer and self-proclaimed “very shy kid” Alyssa Geolamin (10), stepped out of her comfort zone to run for her position. She also has concerns about general disinterest within the school. She said, “We need to listen to the student body and staff more because if we do hear their opinions, people will know we care and be encouraged to get more involved.” 

Sikali Vidal (11), who will be Senior Class Vice President, is well-versed in student government. Before transferring here sophomore year, he served as the class treasurer at Skyline High School. As a senior class official, his main objective will be to assist the class of 2019 with problems like the prom ticket costs. Vidal said, “I want to do a lot of good fundraising by increasing participation from the student body. To do that we need to find things that the student body is interested in so we can make money and have a good year overall.” 

At the end of the day, it is the job of the student government to be a voice for their peers. Padilla said, “I am an open ear. It is not just my leadership, it is everybody’s. You do not have to be the president to make change. If you have ideas, I am totally willing to hear you out. I want to make next year the best year, not just for me, but for everyone.” 

Dave Reichert’s Retirement Sparks Race for Position

by Jason Thiel – Staff Writer

Dave Reichert, the representative for the 8th Congressional District in Washington, announced his retirement after a 14-year incumbency. Reichert said he didn’t have any health problems or political reasons for the decision, just personal discussions with his family that led him towards his decision. Immediately, many hopefuls sprang onto this highly contested open seat. So far, only one Republican, Dino Rossi, is on the ticket. 

The Democrats, on the other hand, currently have 10 candidates competing in the Democratic primary. The top three are Democratic candidates Kim Schrier, Jason Rittereiser, and Shannon Hader. They’ve raised $593,823, $371,537, and $151,697 respectively, as of December 31, 2017. The primary election on August 7 will determine which of these candidates will gain support from the party platform and compete in the general election on November 6. Dino Rossi, the Republican candidate, has raised $1,319,679 as of December 31, 2017, significantly more than any of the Democrats. The Democrats combined have raised a total of $1,503, 815, which means that if each person who donated to any campaign donated a similar amount, and if all of the Democrats rally behind the winner of the primary, then this is definitely going to be a competitive race, and a struggle for both sides to rally their constituents and stay ahead financially. 

Each of the top three candidates has received a decent amount of money from various interest groups, PACs, and businesses. Dino Rossi’s largest donations of $21,600; $17,900; and $16,200; are from Moneytree Inc, Wells Fargo, and Ignition Partners. All of his other corporate donations are $10,000-$10,800 and are largely from businesses rather than PACs or interest groups.  

Kim Schrier on the other hand has her top three donations of $18,725; $17,950; $11,800; from Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle Genetics, and Top Ten Toys. The rest of her donations are from universities, some businesses, and other medical institutions or public aid institutions. This is expected due to her career as a pediatrician and her campaign promises to fund public aid institutions. They tend to be $10,000 and under.  

Lastly, Jason Rittereiser has received his top three contributions of $16,900; $10,800; and $5,900; from the University of Washington, the Interfinancial Real Estate Management, and Broadmark Capital. Again, this is due to his experience as a civil attorney, which explains his support from various liberal businesses, as well as his campaign promises to fund public aid institutions and schools. He also has a number of smaller donations from various attorney groups. 

This seat is one of the hottest in the country for this year’s midterm. It could set a precedent for Democrats to turn long-held Republican seats. There are quite a few of these around the country, many in the Republican moderate areas in the South, and in other places where people are discontent with Trump or an incumbent is retiring. An example of this would be the support of Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania in a district that Trump won by 20 points. Republicans, however, are still at quite the advantage, as they have a 45 seat majority in the House. In the Senate, the Democrats are two seats from the majority, but their battle is largely uphill as they have 24 seats up for election while Republicans only have nine. This 2018 will set a precedent for both sides and may be one of the biggest modern political upsets, or may very well have a similar outcome to 2016.  

Culinary Class Caters Elementary Reading Program

by Madison Marko – Photographer

Culinary students catered Grass Lake’s Prime Time Family Reading, a six-week program held at the Covington Library that is worked to promote literacy skills in economically and educationally vulnerable families. Starting on Jan. 9, 25 Grass Lake families were invited to meet weekly at the for the event.

The culinary students prepared a variety of meals, including chicken soft tacos, chili, baked potatoes, and cheese raviolis. Mario Molinero Villagomez (11), a culinary student who helped, said, “I like collaborating with other people, and cooking for them. It is fun to see their reactions toward the food and hear the different opinions. Hearing people critique the work we have done helps us improve in the future.”

Maddie Gwynne (11) said, “My favorite part has been getting to see all the kids and interact with them. It is fun to serve them—they either love salad, or they hate salad, they all have their own preferences.”

The first half-hour of Prime Time is dedicated to enjoying the meal, and the rest is for books. At every session, three books are sent home with the families to read, and then these books are discussed in the following meet-up. Alison Fraiman, a Grass Lake teacher, facilitates the discussions. Fraiman said, “Each week there is a theme, and we do not come right out and tell the families what the theme is, so the questions I ask help them find that connecting idea between the books. We are trying to encourage parents to read with their children, and be able to ask questions that make them think deeper about the stories.”

Noelia Lozano-Sanchez, a fourth-grader at Grass Lake, said, “I like when Mrs. Fraiman asks questions about the reading. They help me to imagine the themes we are discussing and experience the book in a new way.”

While the students and parents are involved in discussion, the siblings are invited into the Storytime Room to do an activity relating to a book they read.

Monica Sands, the Children’s Librarian at the Covington Library, said, “Families are reading together, and as more people are getting involved it is reaching beyond even just the families that are here. There is so much room for growth in this setting.”

Declassified GOP Memo Causes Controversy

by Harris Yun – Staff Writer

Recently, a GOP memo was released, accusing the FBI of abusing their authority in the investigation of Russian influence into President Trump’s campaign. The memo by Devin Nunes, a noted Republican, accuses the FBI of inappropriately relying on information from former British spy Christopher Steele, who was working on a project funded in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign, to attain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, suspected of being a Russian agent.

The memo goes on to argue that the Justice Department, in applying for said warrant, failed to mention that the information was based on Democrat funded research, a potential source of bias. It also mentions Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supported the renewal of the warrant after Trump took office.

It paints a compromising picture of a faulty surveillance warrant, flawed in its conception and application. Indignant, Democrats who reviewed the memo before its release said that details were cherry-picked to support the Republican agenda, according to The Washington Post.

There was much controversy surrounding the memo’s release, the FBI lobbying to keep the memo from being released before it was seen by both the FBI and the Justice Department. According to ABC, the FBI expressed ‘grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,’ citing these reasons as justification to block the declassification.

As a response, the Democrats have put together their own 10-page memo they say refutes the arguments in the GOP memo by bringing forward details they accuse the Republicans had left out. However, the Republican majority has so far blocked attempts to release the Democratic memo with the GOP one.

The few Democrats allowed to view the memo before release have complained about structural changes to the memo between their review of it and its declassification, but the Republicans have responded by saying the only changes were minor grammar corrections and suggestions by the Democrats themselves; according to the New York Times, they called it strange that the Democrats were trying so hard to prevent the publishing of the memo.

This controversy over the GOP memo is a microcosm of the US government as a whole, representing the growing divide with the FBI and Justice Department on one side, and the White House and the Republican majority of Congress on the other.

FBI Releases Photo of Deceased Child for Identification

by Katie May – Staff Writer

According to NBC News, the boy was between the ages of three to four. Detective Banks told Dateline that “Little Jacob” had bruises and injuries of prior neglect and abuse.

Detective Jeff Banks said the boy did not have water in his lungs, meaning police believe the boy they’ve named ‘Little Jacob’ was dead before his body was dumped in the water( Nobody knows how the little boy died, all we know is he didn’t die from neglect, but he didn’t die from drowning either, because he was dead prior to being put into the water. ‘“Information obtained at autopsy shows that Little Jacob was deceased prior to going into the water and did not die as a result of drowning,”’ Detective Banks said, nbc news.

There have been many cases like this in the past. Another detective working on this case is Detective Lois Gibson, who has worked on six criminal cases like this in the past. One of them, “Baby grace” who he identified as, Riley Ann Sawyers; after her grandmother identified her. Riley was abused and died because of her two parents who were convicted of murder after giving this two-year-old an all-day punishment that included many violent.

The two cases are similar in that both children were brutally abused, except for one fact is that the autopsy for “Little Jacob” showed that the abuse was not fatal. meaning he did not die because of the abuse, according to nbc news. No one has yet been able to identify “Little Jacob”. The FBI and police depend on the public to bring justice and peace to the little boy and his family, ‘“It’s heartbreaking that no one has come forward to identify this boy or offer any clues as to what happened to him.”’, nbc news.

Flu Claims 150 Lives in Washington

by Nolan James – Staff Writer

People are dying from the flu. Over 150 people have died so far from the illness in Washington State alone. While the reports are constantly being updated, the last data published was from Feb. 3, in which there were 151 reported deaths from the influenza virus, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

According to this report, of the 151 individuals, no one between the ages of five and 24 have died from the virus. Nearly 80 percent of the individuals who have died were of the age group 65 and above, but officials say the disease can still be a threat to younger people, especially infants. Since 2010, in Washington, over 800 flu deaths have occurred.

Officials at the Washington State Department of Health state that the best way to protect yourself from disease is by getting vaccinated. However, in recent years vaccinations have become rather controversial. In regard to this controversy, The Department of Health has claimed, “hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.”

Despite this claim, many individuals claim that vaccination can have damaging side effects. However, according to the Department of Health, the only side effects of the flu vaccine are that of “any medical product”, and can cause “soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches,” and sometimes fainting. They also mention, however, that a nerve-damaging disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), has been connected to the vaccine, though “fewer than 1 or 2 cases of GBS per one million people vaccinated” have been proven, and GBS “also, rarely, occurs after the flu illness.”

The Department of Health did give symptoms to look for, such as “a high fever, behavior changes, or signs of a severe allergic reaction.” They also said that “life threatening allergic

reactions to the flu shot are rare. These signs would most likely happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccine is given.” Another worry addressed is that of whether the vaccine can give you the flu, which the Department of Health claims it cannot. They also say that anyone past 6 months of age should get an annual flu shot.

If cost is an issue, the vaccination is also free for children 18 and under. Other ways to protect yourself and others, according to the Department of Health, is to “covering you cough/proper hand washing and staying home from school or work when you are sick.”

Lunar Phenomenons Coincide for Rare Event

by Taylor Bailey – Staff Writer

All around the world, people will be able to witness the Moon go through four phenomena all on the day Jan 31 in a special event known as the Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. This strange event has not occurred in one hundred and fifty years.

As the name suggests, the Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse is the time when a Super-moon, a Blue moon, a Blood moon, and a Lunar Eclipse all happen within the same day, and on the 31 they happened at the same time.

The Super-moon, is a phenomenon when the moon looks very large in the sky, coinciding with the moon being the closest it can get to Earth with the occurrence of a new or full moon. The Blue moon is the second phenomenon by which the moon appears to have a bluish tint due to dust or smoke in the air. The Blood moon is the third phenomenon and it happens when the moon, in total eclipse looks to be red in its color as it illuminates by the sunlight, which is then filtered and arched to the Earth. Since the Blue moon and Blood moon occurred at the same time, the large moon, created by the Super-moon, had a bright orange look to it.

The final phenomenon was the eclipse which occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, and on the 31, it was in darkness for one and a quarter hour.

Washington, being in the west, gave the perfect opportunity for people to witness this phenomenon, however, it was quite cloudy the night of the Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. “For the (continental) U.S., the viewing will be best in the West,” Gordon Johnston said, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”

Band Accepted to Play in Portland

by Morgan Marko – Sports Editor

The band has recently gotten the news that they were accepted into the Grand Floral Parade at the Portland Rose Festival. This news was long awaited, as it took either two to three months to arrive. Cayla Dreisbach, a junior in band had a huge role in the outcome.

The tryouts for the competition involved a promotional video of the band, a few photos of the band, and drum majors. Dreisbach made a short compilation from 2014 to 2017 and sent it in for the promo video. Dreisbach said the wait was especially nerve wracking because, “I would have personally felt at great fault if we weren’t accepted, mainly because the promotional video I put together kind of determined our outcome.” Thanks to Dreisbach and all their hard work, the band made it in.

After a rough year last year, with the cancellation of the Victoria field trip, the band is pumped and ready to get back into the swing of parades. “our band wants to show everyone that we are strong and can come together to man an amazing sound no matter where we play.” Said Dreisbach

To ensure success the band needs to be “organized and ready to fire” said Dreisbach. It’s more than just the music that goes into the parade, costumes also play a key factor. Mr. Urmenita, the band instructor said, “[the band] needs to make sure they have something that puts them over the top, something different. We can’t play the marching band game, everyone’s got uniforms or a drum line, since we don’t have those things what do we have? We’ve got the costumes, we’ve got the custom music.”

With the competition set for June 9th, the band has lots of time to prepare. And there are a few things in mind, “Always the quality of sound, the marching, although that’s not a huge priority in our program. We’re more of a street brass band kind of thing. And definitely showman ship, I think high school kids like to be the center of attention as long as they’re not the center of you put eyes on ‘em every kid shuts down. We got to get more of that Johnny U inside of them, like the entire school’s looking at you and you’re still going to act like that. Over the top showman ship, it’s that big vibrato showmanship, without that you don’t have a show,” says Urmenita.

The theme for the Grand Floral Parade is Super Smash Brothers, and the band can’t wait to smash the competiton.

Yemen Faces Humanitarian Crisis

by Taylor Bailey – Staff Writer

The Republic of Yemen, is a country in the southern part of the Middle East near the Arabian Peninsula. The people of Yemen have been going through some harsh and terrifying situations recently. This is not only due to the actions of Saudi Arabia, but also due to the funding of The United States of America.

Saudi Arabia created a blockade that has made it nearly impossible for food and water to get to the civilians of Yemen. The blockade has halted humanitarian aid from reaching the people of Yemen. Because of this, the people of Yemen are starving.

Not only has Saudi Arabia been starving Yemen, they have also caused the worst outbreak of cholera in modern history and they are having a civil war with Yemen. Ever since 2014, when Houthi rebels of Yemen took control of the capital Sanaa, the military campaign has caused much suffering in Yemen.

Here is where the US comes in. During his presidency, Barack Obama decided to help Saudi Arabia with their civil war and start funding them. However, during his final days, President Obama did show some resentment by funding the war by stopping some intelligence sharing and postponing a key arms deal. However, since President Trump has come into office, he has been serious about funding Saudi Arabia’s war. Now there is more funding, arms, and logistical support going to Saudi Arabia. The war with Saudi Arabia has caused the deaths of over 5,000 deaths in Yemen.

While the war is hurting Yemen greatly, the blockade could be worse. Due to the blockade 80 percent of Yemen’s population has no access to food. The United Nations have estimated that 7 million out of the 28 million people in Yemen are facing famine. “That blockade has been partially wound down but not fully wound down. It needs to be fully wound down if we are to avoid an atrocious humanitarian tragedy involving the loss of millions of lives, the like of which the world has not seen for many decades,” said U.N. humanitarian affairs chief Mark Lowcock.

If the funding doesn’t stop, if the war doesn’t stop, and if the blockade doesn’t get removed, the people of Yemen have some painful times ahead of them.

Israeli Activist Arrested After Video Goes Viral

by Cooper Lewis – Photographer

The last couple of years have been booming with human rights activists blowing up on social media. Platforms like twitter and Instagram have spread the word about thousands of problems through out the world and the people standing up against them. This time the activist was 16 year old Ahed Tamimi.

A video of Tamimi has gone viral of Tamimi slapping and kicking a guard standing outside her house, after the guards forced themselves into her home and shot her brother. After the video had spread through Israeli media, people had started calling for her arrest. A few days later soldiers had evaded the Tamimi household at three in the morning and brutally arrested Ahed Tamimi, while flipping the house upside down.

Ahed wasn’t the only one to receive a punishment for this though. Her father, Bassem Tamimi, was arrested at her court trial, her mother and cousin who where both featured in the video got arrested later that morning. Ahed’ s detention was lengthened 10 more days. Ahed currently has 12 charges against her ranging from throwing rocks at soldiers to kicking and hitting them.

This isn’t Tamimi’s first time going viral on the internet. In 2012 Tamimi was recorded throwing rocks at a soldier after they had arrested her older brother, then again three years later biting and slapping a soldier who had tried to take his little brother. Tamimi is seen as a unique symbol in the middle east, being a light skin, light eyes, and light hair, she has stood up for much of her and others rights.

“We are proud of our daughter, Nour, who has been raised to resist the occupation and the injustice, an extension of her parents and grandparents, and take pride in her struggle against this terrorist state, and we warn these thugs not to touch or endanger her.” Said Bassem Tamimi. Her father who is also a human rights activist and has planned and been apart of many protests. Bassem Tamimi is proud of her daughter and the path for justice and basic human rights she has pursued.